Making my IT DEPENDS list
thoughts on tilting
If you’re on social media, you may have seen the “IN and OUT” resolution lists folks are circulating. These lists claim activities and beliefs that people are calling into or kicking out of their lives in 2023.
For example, drinking water is IN, negative self-talk is OUT.
I like reading people’s IN and OUT lists, but I’m trying to take them with a grain of salt, too. Social media is a manicured version of people’s lives and we can’t know if or how they’re going to accomplish their IN and OUT goals. It’s still fun to read them, though, and I’m cheering everyone on as they explore their goals.
In line with my Wild and Precious Year theme for 2023, I’m eager to follow my intuition and develop some habits of my own. At the same time, I don’t want to be so strict that I can’t allow for spaciousness on low-spoon days when a strict YES or NO list feels inaccessible.
Hence the IT DEPENDS list.
I love Venn Diagrams (I even based my wedding vows on a Venn Diagram: Kris as a person, me as a person, our life together). If an IN (yes, always) and OUT (no, never) list are two circles in a diagram, then the overlap between the two is IT DEPENDS.
Image Description: A Venn Diagram. Left circle reads “IN, ALWAYS, YES.” Right circle reads “OUT, NEVER, NO.” IT DEPENDS is written below the diagram with an arrow pointing to the overlap.
While the focus of this letter is the IT DEPENDS list, I did want to share a few of my IN and OUT ideas. Again, these have the capacity to shift as needed, but I want to value my precious time and grow my intuitive, wild body and mind with habits, so here we go:
trying to go to bed at 10pm
museum dates with Kris
spending some time outside
sleeping with phone in the bedroom
letting my brain and body decide if I will read in the morning OR sleep in
shifting my workday as needed based on my schedule or energy
I chose these two approaches for my IT DEPENDS list to fit this season of my life.
Lucy the chihuahua wakes us up in the middle of the night to go out (shout out to fellow caretakers of sweet elderly animals), so my sleep schedule has been a little disrupted. I’m often sleepy when I do wake up to start my day, so when I need some extra rest, I trade reading in the morning for sleeping in.
And while a 10-4 workday is a great way for me to set boundaries around start/stop times, I’m curious about listening to my body around when I want to do a little more or a little less.
One way I’m going to do this is by “tilting,” a concept I learned from Brooke McAlary, author of Slow and host of The Slow Home Podcast (listen to my interview on that podcast here). When I first heard McAlary’s questioning about the reality of achieving “balance” between work and life, it immediately clicked with me.
Something will always be out of whack or outside of our control, and when we give ourselves permission to tilt towards achieving our goals in small but meaningful ways, we may find more success than we would if we forced ourselves to find “balance” by thriving at everything. An example McAlary shares in her article, “How to Live a Balanced Life” is “Some days you are extra busy at work — tilt towards simple meals, light home duties and simple rhythms.”
On the days with more energy, I’m tilting towards completing more challenging tasks or putting in a little more time at work. On the days with less energy, I’m clocking less work or chore hours so I can spend more time sleeping in or resting.
Updates and Recommendations
>> My free 100 Pomodoros in One Month Workbook. A Pomodoro is an example of a Pulse and Pause approach where you focus on a task for a set amount of time (like 25 minutes) and then take a break for a set amount of time (like 5 minutes). If you like to gamify your to-do lists, this could be a fun thing for you!
See you in a couple weeks! Feel free to respond to this email with any questions or to say hi.
Hi, I’m Dr. Kate Henry!
I'm a Productivity Coach and researcher who specializes sustainable and well-being-oriented productivity. If you’re curious about working with me, please book a free 30-minute call via the button bellow to discuss how I can help you to achieve your goals. Want to know more? Check out the links below!
100+ free blog posts at my blog, The Tending Year
My book Tend to It: A Holistic Guide to Intentional Productivity
Customized workshops for organizations and universities
1-on-1 Success & Accountability Coaching (check out some client testimonials)
Intentionally Productive Scholars Program for undergraduates